Blue Jays slight underdogs for series opener at Baltimore for Friday

Watch as Marcus Stroman takes the 0-2 pitch out of the park to put the Blue Jays up 8-0 on the Braves.

The Toronto Blue Jays will try to build on a 9-0 win in Atlanta as they begin an important three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night as slight +110 road underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Toronto avoided a four-game sweep with Thursday’s shutout victory over the Braves as -115 road chalk, but remains stalled in last place in the AL East standings, trailing second-place Baltimore by 6.5 games going into Friday night’s Blue Jays versus Orioles betting matchup at Camden Yards.

Marcus Stroman dominated on Thursday while holding Atlanta scoreless over 5.2 innings, and contributed to the Blue Jays’ onslaught with his first home run of the season. That performance halts a brutal stretch for Blue Jays starters, who coughed up 19 hits and 15 total earned runs over 14.2 innings of work in the first three dates with the Braves.

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The Blue Jays were rocked for 27 total runs in their first three dates with Atlanta, but overall have played solid defence in recent weeks, allowing just over 3.5 runs per game during an 11-4 stretch that put the brakes on the club’s worst start in franchise history.

Righty Aaron Sanchez gets the call on Friday, making his second start since returning from the DL. The 24-year-old was effective in his last outing, scattering five hits and giving up one unearned run over five innings, but failed to get the decision in a 3-2 win over the Seattle Mariners as -134 home chalk.

Sanchez was tagged with the decision in a 6-4 loss to Baltimore as -132 home chalk on April 14, but claimed four wins in five starts against the Orioles last season, allowing two or fewer earned runs in four of those contests.

The Orioles return home looking to rebound after dropping six of seven games on the road, capped by a 6-5 loss in Detroit as -135 chalk on Thursday afternoon.

Despite their recent slide the Orioles have kept within 1.5 games of the division-leading New York Yankees, and maintain +400 odds to win the AL East. The Orioles have won seven of their past nine against Toronto, and are 9-4 in their past 13 home dates with the Blue Jays.

Chris Tillman is expected to start for Baltimore on Friday. Tillman was tagged for eight hits and three earned runs over 4.1 innings in the Orioles’ 4-3 loss in Kansas City last Saturday as +119 underdogs, and has failed to go six innings in four straight starts against Toronto.